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FRAN: Hello and welcome to On The Outside, the podcast that shares diverse views on outdoors news. My name is Francesca Turauskis, I am the producer of On The Outside. I'm recording this on Thursday 17th March 2022 and today is the first On The Outside minisode.
Whilst we are still taking a rest from On The Outside full episodes, I wanted to start bringing you a little bit outdoor news. And so these minisodes are going to be a way to bring you the news stories that catch our eye between episodes.
The Outdoors Industries Association, or the OIA, has put together some resources of the outdoor industry’s response to the Ukraine crisis. The OIA themselves worked with the Polish Outdoor Group to send a lorry load of outdoor products to Poland, and there is also a list of a number of outdoor brand responses to the crisis, including Keen, Ellis Brigham, Patagonia and Haglofs.
Defra published the #NatureRecovery Green Paper yesterday, which sets out proposals for how to more effectively protect sites and species, and recover nature across England. This Green Paper follows on from the Government’s Environment Act, which passed into law in November last year, and it sets long-term environmental targets to be taken by current and future governments to protect and enhance our natural world. The proposed targets cover water, air quality and the diversity of our wildlife. The consultation period for this is now open, you have 8 weeks to send in your thoughts. I will try and share more on this story in our newsletter.
In a related political story, over 60 organisations - including Natural England, the Ramblers and the BMC - have launched a petition to demand a ‘legal right to nature’ as part of the Government’s 'levelling up' reforms. The cross-sector campaign says that Government levelling up plans will fail unless they include access to nature. Research shows that 85% of people in nature-deprived areas say that more natural space would improve their quality of life and 83% of Brits want greater protections to stop nature loss. The petition will be sent to Secretary of State Michael Gove. You can read more and sign the petition through the link on our website.
The Countryside Code has been reimagined for a new generation. Outdoor brand Merrell re-branded the Countryside Code after their in-house research showed that nearly 50% of people visiting the countryside have never heard of the code. This number was even less for people under 25 years old. Some of the phrases Merrel have gone for in the new code are “keep your friends close, and your pooch closer” to remind people to keep dogs under close control, and “don’t crop a feel” to encourage people not to touch farm crops. You can see images from both the old version and the new one on our website as well (above).
West Midlands’ canal network have announced plans to create the world’s longest community orchard. Working with the community, they are aiming for a record-breaking orchard, stretching 50-miles, from Wolverhampton to Worcester, The orchard will pass through Birmingham and it will be made up of 3,000 fruit trees such as cherry, plum, apple, and pear. The Canal Network also plans to plant rare historic varieties - including the fantastically named “Tettenhall Dick Pear”. The project has been partly paid through a grant from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, and is expected to take 10 years to be fully complete.
A bit outside the UK, but this is absolutely fascinating - the American climber Alex Hannold is the star of a new virtual reality series. Alex Honnold: The Soloist VR, lets you see things from the climber’s POV as he embarks on free-solo climbs in the Italian and French Alps.
The National Outdoor Expo takes place in Birmingham this weekend. The event takes place every year and aims to bring the whole outdoor community together under one roof, with inspirational speakers, interactive features and over 200 exhibitors… If you're heading down, you might see some On The Outside panellists there.
And there's good news for outdoors fans planning weddings. Outdoor weddings in England and Wales have been permanently legalised. It used to only be possible in Scotland, but the change came about due to COVID and has been kept by popular demand.
And lastly, a small catch-up from Kirsty Pallas, who is one of our panellists. Our Shared Outdoors are running a diverse film event on 6th April. The event will take place in Glasgow, and they will be sharing stories from different perspectives, from people with different experiences in the outdoors. Our Shared Outdoors are accepting submissions, so if you have a film you think would fit, you can get in touch with them on Instagram @OurSharedOutdoors
Those are the big news items for this first outdoor news round-up. For more regular updates and links to events and stories from all across the outdoor community, you can sign up to our newsletter. The link for that is in our shownotes.
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If you have any views on the stories, or your own news to share, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, take care.